Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, May 16, 2011

RICHARD FREEMAN: Giant anaconda stories

Whilst pootling about on the internet I came across the following anaconda-related stories.

The first involves a 30-foot or nine-metre specimen found floating dead in a lagoon eight kilometres from the town of Matupá in the state of Mato Grosso in Central Brazil. It had apparently swallowed a capybara before dying.


The second story I stumbled on concerns a spectacular statue I had never before seen. The statue shows a giant anaconda fighting a bull. Giant anacondas were sometimes called Manatoro or bull-killers as they were thought to over-power, constrict and swallow whole bulls. The sculpture represents man’s attempts to interfere with the course of the São Francisco River in Brazil. The anaconda represents the river and the bull, modern man’s interference. It´s a work of art by Diocleciano Martíns and it was inspired by a poem by Castro Alves. In the poem The Waterfall, the bull represents the rock, the force; the anaconda, the waters in coil, breaking the rock, from there appearing the great waterfall. The Paulo Afonso Dam was built in 1955. The hydroelectric plant now provides electric power for the whole of north-eastern Brazil. Four other large hydroelectric plants were later built. : Três Marias built in 1961, Sobradinho Dam in built in 1977, Luiz Gonzaga (Itaparica) and the and the Xingó Dam built in 1994. The Sobradinho reservoir is one of the largest artificial lakes in the world, with an area of 4,214 square kilometers and almost certainly harbors large anacondas.

The carranca is a type of carved gargoyle that was once put on the prows of boats traveling along the São Francisco to scare away evil spirits. Legends of water monsters persist to this day and may be based on giant anacondas.
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1 comment:

Markus said...

There's also a video of the first story (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lxi8WXaWXKI). I can't understand the language but I have translated the comments. So the snake was NOT measured! Comparision of the commentors and for myself between the boat, the people and the animal estimated the length at maybe 5 to 6 m not over 9 m.